In Part 3 we finished primed and painted. Next, we must reassemble our Kubota and apply fresh decals.
After your final coat has been applied allow the fenders, hood and dash to air dry for several hours. This will allow the paint to harden to a degree that handling won’t leave fingerprint marks. Keeping the heat up in the shop or putting a set of shop lights close to the fenders and hood will raise the ambient temperature, drying and hardening the paint faster.
Once you can handle these parts without leaving a mark on them, peel away any masking tape that you have applied over service and operation decals. Next reinstall the grab handles and taillights to the fenders, reinstall the grille and headlight surrounds and hood latch if your tractor is equipped with it.
Use care when reassembling the dash. Because it requires handling to reinstall the gauges, switches and wiring it can be easily scratched. Protect it by placing it on a padded blanket or a couple of thick towels while reassembling.
With the dash back together and reinstalled on the tractor, reinstall the steering wheel, and the muffler and exhaust stack. Reinstall the hood and hood latches, re-connect the headlamp and tail lamp wiring, and then install the wheels.
If you removed the ROPS for painting, reinstall it now. Watch for a shim pack on a few B series tractors. The shims were placed between the inside of the ROPS frame and the rear of the axle housing to garner a tighter fit and prevent a rattle when operating the tractor. Since the metal is so thick on the ROPS mount here, it won’t bend in to meet the tractors aluminum gear housing. Without shims here the threads are at risk of stripping out before the ROPS is completely tightened.
Decals and Details
No complete makeover would be complete without installing new decals. This includes Kubota name and brand identifiers, model identifiers, service instructions, operation instructions, safety cautions, operator cautions, 3 point hitch and ROPS safety. Kubota is probably one of the best companies for having and maintaining the decal inventories on all their tractor models. Whether you’re working on an L175 from 1977, or a Grand L 3010 from 1999, Kubota will have your decals.
The smaller decals are pretty straightforward to install, just make sure that you don’t get a crease in them when installing. The longer hood identifier decals can be a little tricky to install because they are so sticky – a mistake here would be a bad thing. To ensure the job is pulled off like a pro, spray some Windex on the side of the hood you’re working on. With it wet, apply the hood decal. The moisture from the Windex will allow the decal to slide around a little so you can place it exactly where it’s needed. Then using a squeegee you can push the excess Windex out from under the decal. Perfect!
How long does all of this take?
It sounds like a lot of work to do and it is! You’re going to be busy for two days. It’s easy and rewarding to pull this off in a weekend, easier on a long weekend. Here’s a time line to keep you on task:
- Day One
- clean tractor
- disassemble fenders, wheels, hood and dash
- paint frame and chassis
- paint wheels
- sand fenders, hood and dash
- prime fenders, hood and dash
- Day Two
- apply 3 coats of paint to hood, fenders and dash
- reassemble tractor
- install wheels
- apply new decals